Does / Can cycling cause a knee injury ?



edd

New Member
Jul 8, 2003
594
0
0
issue came up on another thread " Training to be a better climber" if you have a knee injury story to tell, please …

Now we know and I think we all agree that cycling can in some cases aggravate an existing chronic knee condition, in others, help a chronic knee condition.
 

wiredued

New Member
Aug 17, 2004
1,300
0
0
I have had knee problems that get aggravated if I do to much L7 work if my knees are bothering me I will avoid L7 and high L6 for a while.

edd said:
issue came up on another thread " Training to be a better climber" if you have a knee injury story to tell, please …

Now we know and I think we all agree that cycling can in some cases aggravate an existing chronic knee condition, in others, help a chronic knee condition.
 

edd

New Member
Jul 8, 2003
594
0
0
wiredued said:
I have had knee problems that get aggravated if I do to much L7 work if my knees are bothering me I will avoid L7 and high L6 for a while.

Like to elaborate ?
 

dabac

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2003
2,298
288
83
52
edd said:
issue came up on another thread " Training to be a better climber" if you have a knee injury story to tell, please …

In my teens I had a paper round, which I did on a too big and heavily loaded 3-speed. Spent a lot of time out of the saddle, straining at the handlebars. Each round took me around 3 hours, and sometimes I did 3 rounds each week.
I never thought of it as "training" so I didn't pay any attention at all to warming up, winding down or stretching. The muscles to the front of the thighs grew big and shortened, which caused the kneecap to be pulled out of position towards the outside.
Because of this misalignment I eventually developed cartilage damage to the back of the kneecap but also to the femur end of the knee joint.
Eventually it became so bad that I couldn't rise from a squatting position because of the pain.
Misery followed, long medication and even longer rehab - tailored to bring my leg strenght back to something less lopsided and to return the shortened muscles to a working length.
Still to this day I tread a delicate balance, working out too much aggravates the knees - but if I work out too little the kneecap tends to slip out of alignment again - which aggravates the knees even more.

So:

If you ride hard enough to get sweaty you need to think of it as training and act accordingly, with warmup, stretches and all that.
Biking isn't enough as an only means of exercise. You need some other discipline to keep the bike specific muscle groups from becoming too dominant.
Spending too much time pushing heavy gears can be bad for you, even if you have the strength to do it.
Even kids deserve decent gear, its not the age of the user that's important, it's the time the user spends in the saddle.

Oh, and good doctors are hard to find.
 

edd

New Member
Jul 8, 2003
594
0
0
dabac said:
In my teens I had a paper round, which I did on a too big and heavily loaded 3-speed. Spent a lot of time out of the saddle, straining at the handlebars. Each round took me around 3 hours, and sometimes I did 3 rounds each week.
I never thought of it as "training" so I didn't pay any attention at all to warming up, winding down or stretching. The muscles to the front of the thighs grew big and shortened, which caused the kneecap to be pulled out of position towards the outside.
Because of this misalignment I eventually developed cartilage damage to the back of the kneecap but also to the femur end of the knee joint.
Eventually it became so bad that I couldn't rise from a squatting position because of the pain.
Misery followed, long medication and even longer rehab - tailored to bring my leg strenght back to something less lopsided and to return the shortened muscles to a working length.
Still to this day I tread a delicate balance, working out too much aggravates the knees - but if I work out too little the kneecap tends to slip out of alignment again - which aggravates the knees even more.

So:

If you ride hard enough to get sweaty you need to think of it as training and act accordingly, with warmup, stretches and all that.
Biking isn't enough as an only means of exercise. You need some other discipline to keep the bike specific muscle groups from becoming too dominant.
Spending too much time pushing heavy gears can be bad for you, even if you have the strength to do it.
Even kids deserve decent gear, its not the age of the user that's important, it's the time the user spends in the saddle.

Oh, and good doctors are hard to find.

Thanks for that …

I have a friend, Richard, works in a bike store, regular cyclist with no injuries to speak of. He decided he was going to ride around Australia. Saved up, built a tourer, the day came and he set off. Headed north from Sydney got as far as Brisbane and his knees just packed it in and shut him down. He developed really agonizing pain at the back of his knee. His diagnosis was simply over use, if he stopped riding the bike for a bit he be fine. which he did and he was. Never did get to finish his ride around Australia though.
 

dabac

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2003
2,298
288
83
52
edd said:
… I have a friend, Richard, .. His diagnosis was simply over use, if he stopped riding the bike for a bit he be fine. which he did and he was. Never did get to finish his ride around Australia though.

I've done a couple of MTB tours of the Alps and the Pyrenees, 60-90 km / day on hiking trails.
That has been possible, but a bit touch and go with anti-inflammatory and pain-relief pills as a nightcap each day, and a "religious" adherence to my stretching routine.
The really amazing thing was that a week or two after I'd gotten home from the last tour I did a few daily casual trips of 16 km road where I ignored my normal routine of after-bike stretching, and it pretty much crippled me for months.
So if I do it by the book I'm OK (but a bit sore) after two weeks of 80 km hard off road riding daily, but if I skimp on the stretching after 16 km of light road riding I'm a wreck on day three.
 

Similar threads